Major in Gender and Sexuality Studies

Requirements for Major

A major in Gender and Sexuality Studies consists of at least 30 credits in Gender and Sexuality Studies courses (core or combined courses) with a grade of C- or better in each course and a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 in GSS courses. These credits must include at least 18 at the 300 level or above. All majors must complete GSS 201: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, GSS 301: Feminist Inquiries, and at least two other GSS core courses.

All majors also have the option of completing GSS 501: Senior Research Project, which takes the form of an individual research project with a faculty member of the student's choice. The student is responsible for finding an appropriate faculty member who is available to supervise the project and then must seek formal approval from the program director before proceeding with the project. The student must produce a substantial written report or research paper, the format of which will vary according to the nature of the project. Gender and Sexuality Studies majors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 in GSS courses and an overall GPA of at least 3.0 may earn departmental honors by completing GSS 505: Honors Thesis instead of the senior research project, following the same guidelines. Most students writing an honors thesis as part of their GSS major will take GSS 505 twice (for a total of 6 credits).


How are our lives shaped by gender? This course introduces students to the ways in which Gender and Sexuality Studies as an interdisciplinary field examines conceptions of masculinity and femininity; gender relations; gender inequalities; the intersections of gender with other categories of identity such as class, race, sexuality, and stages in the life cycle; and the broad impact of gender on society (including political, legal, economic, and religious arenas).

This course studies the history of feminist thought and the ways in which feminist inquiry transforms our understanding of key issues across the curriculum. This course will focus on global, transnational trends and theories that have shaped the dynamic paths of feminist inquiries. We will study what it means to be a feminist by situating the discourse in broader political and historical contexts. We will focus not only on feminist writings emanating from the United States, but since we live in an increasingly globalized world, also travel elsewhere to understand what inquiries and thoughts animate feminist theories and praxis in parts of the global south. Reading classic and contemporary feminist scholarship from a diversity of disciplinary backgrounds we will address questions of rights, equality, nature of oppression and difference. We will discuss the dynamic, historical and changing nature of feminist contributions to the understanding of what constitutes work and family, inscriptions on body, sex, sexualities, and gender. Transnational trends such as the globalized economy, developments and access to new reproductive technologies, will enable us to understand the historical intersections between different feminist movements, and how political, social, and economic structures of race, sexuality, gender and class shape the rich and complex fabric of feminist inquiries. Drawing on interdisciplinary feminist texts in history, anthropology, literary theory and literature, films, visuals, primary documents such as speeches and manifestos, the course will enable us to appreciate the diversity of feminist scholarship and activism that shape feminist inquiries. This is a writing credit course.


GSS Fall 2018 Course Listings

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